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March 22 2010

(SPOILER) The Return of Kitty Pryde. Contains a pretty decent deconstruction of how Kitty was used during Joss' run.

Although if we're going to look at phallic symbolism, shouldn't it be noted that her sacrifice removes the "phallus" of its potency? True she is trapped by it, but she's also made it useless.

[ edited by ilion on 2010-03-23 22:00 ]

I totally agree with your comment, ilion.
Fell in love, got "dead." That Joss!
Damn ilion, you just lawyered that fool.
I'm so, SO sick of the idea that anytime a writer consciously creates a strong female character, that character is automatically labelled as being a Mary Sue. It's such an inherently sexist assertion.

So is Superman a Mary Sue? Is Batman? Is Indiana Jones?
Yeah I can't say I agree with this analysis. Maybe she is a vehicle for the fantasy projections of some male writers and fans, but she is also a vehicle for female fantasys too, and general human fantasys about being a good person. Agreed this isn't a particularly interesting personality for a story, also a bit annoying that it's stereotypical that the really nice person has to be a woman, but this analysis is just some guy who has the hots for Kitty Pryde deciding that everyone else must see her the same way he does, totally discounting her heroism, courage and strength. That's what makes her a role model dufus, it doesn't mean she can't also be a great girlfriend but I really fail to see how she is entirely "a wish-fulfillment fantasy for nerdy teenagers" (I don't even get what the author means here, is he trying to suggest sexual wish fulfillment [in which case you may as well say that about any woman in sci-fi/fantasy ever which is patently bollocks] or just 'wouldn't it be great to know this really great person' wish fulfillment, which btw isn't limited to men or nerds).

And finally, I can't express enough how much this 'phallic symbolism' bullshit pisses me off, just because something is vaguely shaped like a penis that doesn't necessarily mean anything. That's just the shape of some things. GET OVER FREUD,HE JUST MADE SHIT UP.
Pryde, not Pride.

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about Kitty's return.

This article on the other hand is ridiculously unobservant. Writers like this really piss me off when they claim nothing happens and everything is "fill in the blank." Not just because they don't examine in this case "Astonishing X-Men" close enough, but no examples are even given. ugh.

Kitty is certainly not some two dimensional moral absolutist. She doesn't stand there and judge things. The very fact that things always seem to turn out in her favor or however the author of this article put it is because she is very clever. She also show emotional growth in the following areas: rejoining the X-men after telling Xavier to remove all records of her and her father's death. She also has to deal with Emma Frost, a symbol of evil from her youth. And I think Joss framed Kitty's post-"Gifted" emotional journey with Colossus very nicely, even giving them some light-hearted moments.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-03-23 17:10 ]

LOL digupherbones! Never read Freud, but just had an image of him standing in front of a mirror yelling that at himself. I've been in a bad mood all day and that made me laugh, so thanks :)
HAHA! Freud comment just made me pee a little. Also, if you want to actually analyze it, ilion is right. Technically, the alien race was getting rapey with Earth and Kitty metaphorically castrated them, from within the phallus no less. But sometimes a giant planet destroying bullet is just a giant planet destroying bullet.

Kitty has always been something of a Mary Sue, it's not Joss's doing. They've been trying to replace her as our empathetic character in the X-men for so long, but we just don't like any of the replacements. Jubilee sucked. Even Armor sucks, although she tends to suck less when Kitty's also in the story. Rogue as Shadowcat just makes me wish Rogue wasn't pretending to be Shadowcat.

Also, Colossus is my Mary Sue, and I would have accepted any excuse to bring him back.
I just read a review of the issue elsewhere (since I don't get X-Men comics anymore), and they don't quite understand how Kitty could still be alive since she can only phase for short periods since she cannot breathe in phased state. Did mostly everyone else just assume she phased it through Earth and that's it? Or was it established somewhere (possibly even if Giant AXM, if my memory is lapsing) that she was continually phasing the penis bullet?
Whoops, thanks marvelknight616. I feel I lost my geek cred a little there. :P

digupherbones, the idea that she is "everyone's girlfriend" or some "wish fulfillment" character is not at all new to this writer and pretty accepted in comics culture. She was introduced as a POV character, one who thought it was so awesome to be with the X-Men and basically couldn't get hurt.

I'd say she's actually had a lot of growth from that to being the confident person sparring with Emma to eventually committing the self-sacrifice.

As far as phasing for extended periods, this is probably the longest but I know she's spent extended periods phased before. I remember an issue of Excalibur where the rest of the team had been incapacitated and she stayed phased for quite some time until she came up with a plan to rescue them. And it was made pretty clear at the end of Joss's run that she was alive, just that they weren't sure how to separate her from the bullet again.
And there was that absolutely ridiculous time when Claremont had her phase through the Earth's rotation with several X-Men through the Earth's crust at the end of X-Treme X-Men. I believe the actual explanation is that she CAN breathe when she's phased just not when she's phasing through solid objects (ex. If the bullet were solid on the inside there would be no air to breathe, but story over continuity, etc.)
"She's the template Buffy Summers and Veronica Mars were based on the cute, funny, principled girl who'd rather hang out with the misfits than the cool crowd. In short, she's always been defined by the desires and ideals of dudes."

Being cute, funny and principled is strictly a male ideal?
Who's this Mary Sue person? (oh, thanks Wikipedia) I don't think Kitty's the meta-narrative problem with the X titles. I can't believe it's been three years in real time. That's - like - two issues of "Astonishing X-Men" (ducks and covers).
Ha! A slight stretch, BlueLampshade, but not altogether far from the truth. Joss's Astonishing run was 25 issues (including the Giant Sized) over 4 years... which means roughly six issues a year. There's been worse comic delay (look up Kevin Smith's Spider-Man story "The Evil That Men Do") but it was certainly painful for fans such as myself at the time, not knowing when we would receive our next five minutes of Whedon-Cassaday goodness.
The huge problem with Astonishing being delayed was that it moved a glacial pace. Each arc could have been cut down by at least two issues.
I think what I object to isn't that she is the POV character, just that this writer, and I'm guessing by your comment a lot of people into comics, are claiming her as some kind of male fantasy when in actual fact she's just a person fantasy. Saying it's a male fantasy firstly just ignores and devalues the large population of female comic readers and what they might get out of the Kitty character, secondly by making it a male fantasy a sexual element is added which alienates anyone who is not sexually/romatically attracted towards women, and lastly it just insults all male comic readers by suggesting they can't relate to or appreciate a female character in a comic unless viewed through a lens of sex/romantic partnering (i.e. why can't she just be a male geek's friend fantasy, don't men have female friends anymore??).
I only remember Kitty the Annoying Early Teen. All this stuff is after my time.

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